By Lori NewmanNovember 30, 2009
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Tina Stull is many things: wife, mother, cancer survivor and race car driver. Stull visited Fort Sam Houston Nov. 19 to speak about her experiences at the 32nd Medical Brigade Thanksgiving Prayer Breakfast.
Following the breakfast she parked her dragster at the Rocco Dining Facility, visited with Soldiers and signed autographs.
"I really appreciate the Soldiers who serve, because the job they do allows me to do what I do," she said. "My getting to drive race cars is entertainment. People in the military are changing history. It's important that when they go out to do their job, they know they are fully supported here at home."
In 1998, Stull went to the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School in Pomona, Calif., but didn't start drag racing until 2002 after being diagnosed with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
"In 2002, I was diagnosed with terminal cancer and was told I had three years to live," said Stull.
"I had to make some decisions about what I wanted to do with the time I had left. I decided that racing was one of the things I had been putting on the back burner but something I really wanted to do."
When Stull went back to the doctor they told her, "You don't have cancer, we can't find it; we don't know how to explain the pathology reports, so just go home."
She said that during the time she thought she was dying, prayer was so much a part of her life, because she felt she had no other options. "I made all my decisions based off my prayers. When I found out I was going to live I thought, why should my decisions be any different," she said.
Stull continued to pursue her racing career as a National Hot Rod Association Super Comp Dragster driver.
She currently works with several military-focused ministries to provide on-going support for the service members and their Families, and is responsible for distributing thousands of free tickets to racing events to members of the military.
"If I was going to race when I was dying, why wouldn't I race now that I was living," she said.